Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.
And yes, I do have some favorites. Hey, every Ayah in the Qur’an is important and of utmost benefit, it’s the beautiful words of Allah ain’t it? But by favorite, I mean verses I’ve been able to relate with directly biidhnillah. We should know that more importantly than memorization, is contemplating, understanding and implementing the Qur’an. But we get the priority list mixed up these days, don’t we?Malik bin Dinar رحمه الله said:”Indeed, the Quran is the life of the heart, just as the rain is to the earth.”
[Kitaabuz-Zuhd of Imaam Ahmad; 1880]
My first in this mini favorite series is from Surat Al – Baqara verse 177, and I’ll be using mostly the Tafseer of Ibn Kathir in shaa Allah.
“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.”
This Ayah contains many great wisdom, encompassing rulings and correct beliefs.
” It is not Birr that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west; but Birr is the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets…, As for the explanation of this Ayah, Allah first commanded the believers to face Bayt Al-Maqdis, and then to face the Ka`bah during the prayer. This change was difficult for some of the People of the Book, and even for some Muslims.
Then Allah sent revelation which clarified the wisdom behind this command, that is, obedience to Allah, adhering to His commands, facing wherever He commands facing and implementing whatever He legislates, that is the objective. This is Birr, Taqwa and complete faith. Facing the east or the west does not necessitate righteousness or obedience unless it is legislated by Allah.
Ath-Thawri recited: (“but Birr is the one who believes in Allah”), and said that; what follows are the types of Birr.
He has said the truth. Certainly, those who acquire the qualities mentioned in the Ayah will have indeed embraced all aspects of Islam and implemented all types of righteousness; believing in Allah, that He is the only God worthy of worship, and believing in the angels the emissaries between Allah and His Messengers. The `Books’ are the Divinely revealed Books from Allah to the Prophets, which were finalized by the most honorable Book (the Qur’an). The Qur’an supersedes all previous Books, it mentions all types of righteousness, and the way to happiness in this life and the Hereafter. The Qur’an abrogates all previous Books and testifies to all of Allah’s Prophets, from the first Prophet to the Final Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all.
“…and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it”, refers to those who give money away while desiring it and loving it. It is recorded in the Sahihayn that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa salaam said: “The best charity is when you give it away while still healthy and thrifty, hoping to get rich and fearing poverty”.
“… the kinsfolk”, refers to man’s relatives, who have more rights than anyone else to one’s charity, as the Hadith supports: Sadaqah (i.e., charity) given to the poor is a charity, while the Sadaqah given to the relatives is both Sadaqah and Silah (nurturing relations), for they are the most deserving of you and your kindness and charity.
“…to the orphans”, The orphans are children who have none to look after them, having lost their fathers while they are still young, weak and unable to find their own sustenance since they have not reached the age of work and adolescence.
“…and the miskin”, In the Sahihayn it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger said: “The Miskin is not the person who roams around, and whose need is met by one or two dates or one or two bites. Rather, the Miskin is he who does not have what is sufficient, and to whom the people do not pay attention and, thus, do not give him from the charity”.
“…. and to the wayfarer,
is the needy traveler who runs out of money and should, thus, be granted whatever amount that helps him to go back to his land. Such is the case with whoever intends to go on a permissible journey, he is given what he needs for his journey and back. The guests are included in this category. Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “Ibn As-Sabil (wayfarer) is the guest who is hosted by Muslims.” Furthermore, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Jafar Al-Baqir, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Muqatil bin Hayyan said similarly.
“….and to those who ask”, refers to those who beg people and are thus given a part of the Zakah and general charity.
“…and to set servants free”, These are the servants who seek to free themselves, but cannot find enough money to buy their freedom.
“performs As-Salah (Iqamat-As-Salah)”, means, those who pray on time and give the prayer its due right; the bowing, prostration, and the necessary attention and humbleness required by Allah.
“…and gives the Zakah”, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Muqatil bin Hayyan have stated, means, the required charity (Zakah) due on one’s money.
“…and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, is similar to: “Those who fulfill the covenant of Allah and break not the Mithaq (bond, treaty, covenant). (13:20)
“…and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles)”, means, during the time of meekness and ailment.
“…and at the time of fighting (during the battles)”, Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, Abu Al-Aliyah, Murrah Al-Hamdani, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak and others have stated, means on the battlefield while facing the enemy.
And calling them the patient here, is a form of praise, because of the importance of patience in these circumstances, and the suffering and difficulties that accompany them. And Allah knows best, it is He Whom help is sought from, and upon Him we rely.
“Such are the people of truth”, means, whoever acquires these qualities, these are truthful in their faith. This is because they have achieved faith in the heart and realized it indeed and upon the tongue.
So they are the truthful,
…and they are Al-Muttaqun (the pious)” because they avoided the prohibitions and performed the acts of obedience.
A beautiful verse, with a comprehensive explanation, wouldn’t you agree?
So let each one of us look within and make necessary changes in our lives, by using this verse as a code of conduct biidhnillah.